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Thomas Chippendale: Designer, Maker, Decorator

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  • Entry to this event is included with a Freedom ticket and is free for members.


  • Harewood Visitor Experience Team
  • 0113 218 1000
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Friday 23 March – Sunday 2 September 2018

To coincide with the national Chippendale 300 celebrations to mark the tercentenary of the birth of Thomas Chippendale, Designer, Maker, Decorator will showcase the remarkable range of Chippendale’s work at Harewood House.

Thomas Chippendale (1718 – 1779), born just down the road from Harewood in Otley, was one of 18th century Britain’s finest and most innovative furniture makers.

Designer, Maker, Decorator offers a new way of looking at his work and a story unique to Harewood, and for the first time, will explore the variety of skills and activity carried out by Chippendale to form the interiors of Harewood House.

In 1767, Chippendale began what was the largest and most lucrative commission of his career, offering a bespoke service to furnish the newly built Harewood House.

As part of the celebrations, the programme will include an innovative, mirrored display of Harewood’s acclaimed Diana and Minerva Commode on the State Floor, a contemporary response to the work of Chippendale by artist Geraldine Pilgrim in both the Courtyard and Terrace Gallery, and taking the form of a trail through the House and grounds, the exhibition will showcase the breadth of Chippendale’s craftsmanship and activity at Harewood.

The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director

We are delighted to announce that our original copy of the Director has returned to Harewood. This was made possible through the kind generosity of Simon Phillips and all at Ronald Phillips Ltd. One of the first examples of a catalogue in which furniture could be chosen and pre-ordered, the Director is a beautiful leather-bound book containing illustrated examples of Chippendale furniture. Chippendale could not have envisaged the success of the Director which had a significant impact on 18th century furniture styles within Britain and across the world.

The Director is on display for visitors to see in Princess Mary’s Dressing Room on the State Floor.

Tree to Table Trail

Follow our Tree to Table Trail and explore Thomas Chippendale at Harewood; in the House, get up close to some of the finest furniture ever made, think about where wood comes from in the West Garden and see how contemporary artists respond to Chippendale’s legacy in the Courtyard, to remind us that even the grandest piece of furniture starts life as a tree.

Kate Whiteford, After Chippendale

In 2000, artist Kate Whiteford created a land drawing in Harewood’s landscape based on a Chippendale sofa. This drawing looked at the way in which Chippendale and Capability Brown employed the use of the serpentine curve in their furniture and landscape designs.

This season, see a series of watercolours created in response to this in Lord Harewood’s Sitting Room on the State Floor.